Wimbledon. The World Cup. The Open. Summer 2018 has had plenty for the sports fan to enjoy, and it’s not over yet.

But as we celebrate England’s uncharacteristically good run in Russia, we should also celebrate its effect on the national economy. Because according to research from the Centre for Retail Research (CRR), the UK has benefited from more than £1bn this year due to the World Cup.

And it’s not all about big sponsorship deals signed by big corporations. If you’re running a small business, you too can benefit from the collective goodwill around significant sporting events.

In other words: the Wimbledon effect is real. Here’s how to take advantage of it.

Create an ace game plan

Research by CBR suggests that every goal scored by an England footballer during their World Cup run would be worth around £165.3m to the country’s retailers and an additional £33.2m to its pubs, hotels, and restaurants.

Now, you can’t co-brand your SME with the World Cup or Wimbledon without permission. but that doesn’t mean you can’t get in on the action. You just need the right game plan.

That means finding ways to tie your products and services into the event via clever marketing. So if you’re running a local café during the 2022 tournament, it may be worth rebranding a breakfast roll to a Sausage & Bacon Mbappe; if you’re selling hats during Wimbledon or the ATP finals, you could rebrand your trilby the Roger Fedora.

Those examples won’t work for all businesses, but there’s nothing stopping you from launching special offers tied to events, or personalising email marketing with sporting keywords. Mr. Hyde, the daily event emailer, did just that recently ahead of England’s ill-fated semi-final against Croatia: the subject line was ‘<CUSTOMER NAME> to Kane… Scores’. It’s simple, it’s straightforward, it captures the spirit of the event – and it encourages the recipient to click. 

Go to the baseline

The best way to take advantage of a major event is to be near to it. Wimbledon’s San Lorenzo – an Italian restaurant and a happy Xero customer – saw a 400% rise in customers around the tournament (including some tennis stars). It’s not hard to see why: some 473,372 people attended the tournament over 13 days, and the increasing footfall can increase your revenues.

Of course, you have to be there first: the closer you get to the baseline, the better. You can’t rock up on Murray Mound, but there’s no reason not to consider launching a mobile pop-up stand with some free strawberries and cream, or arranging big-screen viewings for your customers. If possible, team up with other nearby businesses to launch cross-promotions.

These events have clear international appeal – but their scope is also local. Exploit the local aspect as much as you can.

Dedeuce the best tactics – and change them where appropriate

Having devised your game plan, you need to think tactically: bringing your business to a place where it can keep up with rising demand.

That means getting your financials in good order, managing costs in such a way that they don’t spiral. You need to know the percentage of takings required for additional fees and costs you’ll have to cover off, and you’ll need a full view of your bank balance.

Accounting software such as Xero can provide a real-time snapshot of your budget, your incomings, and your overall expenditure. It can also help you keep tabs on stock levels to ensure that you can spread costs appropriately over time - always having the supply necessary to meet customer demand.  

Sporting events like Wimbledon create buzz on a national, regional, local and international level. Customers who usually consider themselves reluctant or reticent spenders will suddenly find themselves relaxed when it comes to tailored offers or promotional deals. With an innovative enough approach, any kind of business can capitalise on this excitement regardless of the tournament outcome.